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Thread: one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

  1. #1
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    Apr 2007
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    Default one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

    I was directed here by a friend for advice about this problem.

    My son just turned one on Wednesday. He and I have had a strong breastfeeding relationship from day one. Luckily, I have been able to stay home with him and nurse on demand. We started rice cereal when he seemed interested in our food—at about four months. He liked it then, but I didn't really push solids much until about six months. I would give him a little taste of things every few days, or even as little as every week or two. He seemed to like what I gave him, and he had no swallowing problems.

    Then, at about six months, he stopped liking solids. He wouldn't eat any of the old foods he'd liked before (rice cereal, banana, applesauce), and he didn't like anything new we gave him. I was advised to wait until he was ready for solids by some. Others said I shouldn't "let him off the hook" and should try offering solids on a daily basis. Yet others suggested that he didn't like the texture of baby food and that he'd do better with finger foods. And finally others blamed the "bad taste" of the store-bought baby foods, saying that if I blended my own, he'd eat it.

    I continued to offer a wide variety of foods: jarred baby foods, handmade baby foods, finger foods, little bits of what we were eating, everything. My son didn't like ANY of it. All he wanted was milk. And yes, usually I'd give up and let him nurse after several refusals because I didn't want to turn food into a power struggle.

    At eight months, my son was 43rd percentile for weight. At nine, he had dropped to 17th. He just had his 12-month checkup, and now he's down to 6th. Basically, his weight has plateued over the last four months. He weighs under 20 pounds, even though his height and head circumference are normal for his age.

    Today he eats maybe two tablespoons of solids a day. Maybe. It's hard to track because it's a Cheerio here and a noodle there. Definitely no fruits, and usually no vegetables.

    I am going to start taking him to a speech therapist to help him learn to eat (hopefully), but if that doesn't work, the pediatrician suggested I try weaning him to force him to get hungry enough and eat something besides milk.

    So, here are my questions:

    1) Does the weaning idea sound as radical/bad to you as it does instinctively to me?

    2) Do you have any tips for getting a very stubborn little boy to eat something other than my milk? I'm nursing 9–10 times a day, and as much as I love nursing, I'm getting tired of being his ONLY source of nutrition.

    3) What does a one-year-old need, nutritionally, that breastmilk cannot satisfy (other than calories in my son's case)?

  2. #2
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

    And what happens if you wean him and he is a very picky eater and will only eat noodles and cherrios.......then the doctor is going to say well he is not getting his nutritional needs met so lets put him on a milk like pediasure.


    I would look for a new doctor, if you go on yahoo groups, there is a group called ap_doctor_referral here is the link


    you have to join the group to search their database, I found my new doctor that I love....the old doc was pushing solids and said my son was not gaining enough because he fell from 50th percentile to the 5th ish, but the new doc says no problems, he is healthy and is gaining weight, and meeting milestones. It is such a relief to not have to worry that my son is not growing right.

    if you let me know where you live I will search the database for you real quick
    Last edited by ee_lime; April 7th, 2007 at 06:54 AM.


    Emilee
    Wife and Mommy
    DS born on Aug 4th 2006 @ 8 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches
    DD born at Home on May 10th 2008 @ 8 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches

  3. #3
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    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

    Thanks. I'm in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. I'm willing to drive basically anywhere in the valley.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2007
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    Smile Re: one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

    Wow. I can relate to the ebb and flow nature to baby's adventures in solids. My son has had decent ventures into rice cereal or oatmeal, though it seemed to constipate him. I think we have also had decent runs wth pears and bananas. But, like in your situation, that has all shifted. He's 9 months now and I'm lucky to get any food down. Because I have found nursing to be the easier option-- who knew this would be the case after hearing my friends bottle feeding freedom stories-- I haven't always pressed the introduction to solids. That, and Quinn would wait until I was home (I teach) on my lunch break to nurse rather than taking any solids. I used to laugh about his "loyalty", but now I chide myself because we're headed to the feeding clinic at the local children's hospital. I've tried pureeing fresh foods, done the Gerber thing, and now have purchased a slew of organic baby foods (that may end up spoiling) because I'm feeling so desperate.

    To finally address your questions: my gut has always told me that the "make him hungry enough to do it" system seemed flawed and mean. My mother-in-law even suggested once that I do away with my trusted nursing pillow because perhaps if he was uncomfortable he wouldn't want to nurse. Madness. I've also read that a nursing baby looks not only to nursing for food, but for comfort and security during developmental changes. I keep hoping that Quinn will wean himself so I don't have to make that kind of call.

    Our ped recommended that we douse solids in pumped breast milk so its familiar. Worked a few times for us.

    Like I've read in other posts (and heard from my doctor), babies need more iron after 6 months. I'm still taking the battery of pre-natal vitamins. Any word on whether that makes a difference? We are now being more vigilant about the multivitamin and D drops. He hates the taste and we slacked on giving it, but now we're being more vigilant.

    Best wishes to you and your baby

  5. #5
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    Default Re: one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

    I'm not a doctor, but from what I read, a one year old needs to be eating some solids. But it sounds counter-intuative to me to wean him before he's ready as a way of forcing that.

    My DS loved solids at first and then stopped liking it. We tried all kinds of things to eat, I started mixing food into wierd combinations (peas & bananas when he stopped liking banana for a while). I changed the time I fed him dinner, which really seemed to help. I fed him earlier in the afternoon before he was too tired and he seemed to be hungrier. I also started singing to him, which helped too. Or maybe you could give him a toy to play with at meal times?

    Would it help to offer solids before you nurse him? So he's hungrier? I agree consulting a different ped might give you some other ideas. Or tell yours that you're not willing to wean for that purpose and see what he says.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

    My son is kind of resistant to solids too and what I found helpful (which was my aunt's advice who is a mother of two and a MD) was to determine a meal (like lunch or dinner) when you give the baby just solids (and in my opinion offering the same thing everyday helps too) and don't offer him the breast afterwards until the next meal which is usually 2 hours away in our case. After a couple of days (the first time may take over a week though) he learns that that time of the day is for eating that food and starts accepting it. Once he accepts that once a day (hopefully) you can gradually do the same thing for other meals during the day. My son wouldn't eat anything and after persistently giving him cereal at 5pm everyday he got used to it. Then we started giving him bananas at 12:30pm which caused some resistance for a while but then he accepted. Now we started meat-vegetable-lentil type of thing at 5pm and pushed cereal to 6:30pm and most days he is OK with it. He still doesn't eat a lot but it is improving. So before going for something radical like weaning you could try something like this and if doesn't work after a couple of weeks then you can consider other options.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

    Pediatrician Wendell Nilson Canyonland Pediatrics 1490 E. Foremaster Drive #130 St. George, UT 84790 (435) 634-0055 Laura katienryansmommy@aol.com he is very laid back on controversial issues - is ok with no vaxing, is pro intact, pro breastfeeding, etc.


    Laura is the lady who recommends this doctor, this is the only ap friendly pediatrician that i found in utah, although if you join the group you may find family doctors in your area. good luck


    I just had time and mapped how far away that was from you...it's like 4 hours, so I will keep my eyes open for another.ttyl
    Last edited by ee_lime; April 7th, 2007 at 07:16 PM.


    Emilee
    Wife and Mommy
    DS born on Aug 4th 2006 @ 8 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches
    DD born at Home on May 10th 2008 @ 8 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches

  8. #8
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    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

    The last two days have been much different, and I think they've been good different.

    Yesterday I decided to hold off on breastmilk for a few hours to make sure my son got good and hungry. When he started begging for milk, I offered Cheerios instead. He had a few and stopped begging for about a half hour. Then he was at it again, so I made some mashed potatoes with cheese melted in. He had quite a lot of that and also some cow's milk. By the time I nursed him, it had been 4.5 hours since the last feeding (practically a record!), so I had lots of milk. He nursed eagerly and went down for a nap.

    It was almost five hours before he nursed again. Between nursing sessions, he had 1/4 jar of babyfood green beans (apparently he likes them again!) and various munchies, plus some apple juice. Again, when he finally nursed, there was plenty of milk for him.

    My guess is that he's still nursing as much as he was before, just not as often. On top of that, he's getting at least a few calories from solids, which makes me very happy. He's also been sleeping better at night, probably because I nurse him right before bed, and since he hasn't nursed as often all day long, he gets a tummy full of milk instead of a snack.

    Today, he's eaten almost the rest of the jar of green beans, a dozen or so Kix, some Cheerios, and some mashed potatoes and cooked carrot from my plate at dinner. Oh, and I think he ate a jelly bean from the Easter candy . . . then again, he might have spit it out at one point.

    Anyway, I'm feeling really positive about the whole thing right now. I know nursing on demand is ideal, and I was doing that for a long time, but "withholding" the milk in favor of something else does seem to be forcing him to choose other foods when he's hungry. And, it turns out, he doesn't mind them.

    Oh, and I also found out that if he doesn't like what I'm feeding him, it might just be a strike on that food and not on solids in general. That's good to know if he decides tomorrow that green beans are no longer on the white list.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

    Good Job!! It is so nice when you don't have to worry.

    I was thinking about getting on a schedule with lo (aka holding out for a few hours), although he is only eight months old, because he likes to nurse all the time and I am thinking that he is not getting very much hindmilk because he is eating less more often.....I would like to trust ds to do what he needs to, but I think it is time for mommy to step in.


    Emilee
    Wife and Mommy
    DS born on Aug 4th 2006 @ 8 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches
    DD born at Home on May 10th 2008 @ 8 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches

  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: one-year-old nursing almost exclusively still

    dr sears has some good info on feeding picky eaters.
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/T030800.asp

    sounds like your handleing it in your own way and thats fine.
    Most kids slow in their growth at that age any ways.
    Just make sure what your feeding is healthy whole foods and your son should do just fine.

    A food diary might help too, write down what hes eating and then look at a weeks worth of foods. insead of just a day!
    heres a good link from kelly moms about toddlers and solid foods.
    http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/so...ler-foods.html
    you might have more luck with self feeding table foods then the mashed up jar baby foods.
    good luck
    andrea

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